This Google India video is a piece of storytelling genius.
As the Indian Express explains, the ad
talks about separation, friendship and the celebration of a reunion. It follows the story of two childhood friends separated during Partition and who find each other after six decades with help from their grandchildren through Google.
The scriptwriter for the ad, Sukesh Kumar Nayak of Ogilvy & Mather, says he was pleasantly surprised when a tech giant like Google specified in their brief that the only thing they wanted was to see was how meaningful the search engine is in real life. "Our entire life revolves around Google, it is our instant response to something we don't know. But we wanted to dig deeper, and make the connection between real life and Google, magical," says Nayak.
I think it also works because many of us have had the experience of finding friends from college or high school (or perhaps even earlier) through Facebook or Google or other means, so there's a ring of familiarity to the ad. Most of us aren't separated by grand historical tragedies for quite as long, but still the ad manages to strike a near-perfect balance between sentimentality and technical feasibility.
The fact that the grandchildren are the ones doing most of the searching also works: yes, it tends to reinforce the stereotype that Old People Don't Know About Computers, but in this instance it ads another layer of drama and sentiment to the story, as well as a little potential tension over whether the grandkids will eventually get together.